Pet-Friendly Senior Living in Houston

Pet-Friendly Senior Living in Houston

Houston is a big town with a big love for dogs. Since 2010, when locals started Paws on Patios to change the city code to allow dogs at outdoor restaurant areas, lots of eateries have started welcoming four-legged patrons. Houstonians also have plenty of dog parks to choose from, a private swim club for dogs and their owners, and the chance to spend a few days each summer taking in the Houston World Series of Dog Shows.

Making a splash in Houston

There are lots of dog parks all over the greater Houston area, but the place to be in the heat of the summer — or after rehab with vet — is Rummy’s Beach Club in north Houston. Rummy’s offers warm-water therapeutic swims for dogs with health problems or who need to get into shape, dock-jumping lessons for pups eager to take a flying leap into the water, underwater pet photography, and a private dog park for Rummy’s clients. Doggy boot camp sessions are available during the summer, and owners are encouraged to get in the water and swim with their pets.

Rummy’s is a short drive from senior living communities that allow pets, such as Brookdale Plaza Willowbrook, which offers customized assisted living, a pool for people, and plenty of green space and pathways to share with friends and pets.

Surrounded by dog parks in Houston

Houston’s west side outside Loop 610 is home to 4 dog parks: Tanglewood, TC Jester, Bill Archer, and Millie Bush, named for the former president’s English springer spaniel. Bill Archer Dog Park, within Bear Creek Pioneers Park, offers separate areas for big and small dogs. Just across I-10 in George Bush Park, Millie Bush Dog Park has 3 lakes on its 15-acre site.

Within this loose ring of canine destinations are several senior communities, including The Gardens at Spring Shadows for independent living, Woodridge Nursing and Rehab for short-term and long-term skilled care, The Cottage of Spring Branch for dementia care, and the Park Shadows senior apartment community. Park Shadows is about a ten minute drive from the Boneyard Dog Park and Drinkery just inside the Loop, which offers cool shade, cold beer, and 7,000 square feet of room for dogs to roam.

Plenty of places to eat with your pet in Houston

Relaxing with friends and pets on a restaurant patio is a great way to spend a mild winter afternoon or a summer evening. Among the best dog-friendly dining spots in town, as ranked by the Houston Press, are Tila’s and Hugo’s for Mexican food, Boheme for pizza, and — for when you really want to put on the dog — cocktails and upscale comfort food at J. Black’s.

A big league event for dog lovers in Houston

Every summer, Houston plays host to 40,000 humans and thousands of dogs from all over the country for the 5-day Houston World Series of Dog Shows. Spectators can watch obedience, agility, and breed conformation trials; shop for fine pet goods from vendors; and attend seminars to learn more about dog care, training, and breeds. Non-competing dogs are welcome to participate in on-site events like the American Kennel Club’s My Dog Can Do That agility course.

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Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

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